Best Smart Locks

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 28, 2020
The number of smart devices around us is growing from year to year. Your smartphone might become a new key to your house. Make the first step and buy a smart lock. You will forget about keys and feel much safer and protected. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Access Method
Extras
Type/Mounting
Power Source
Warranty
 
PROS

The 12-key touchpad is illuminated, so you'll be able to easily input the code even come nighttime. The 'pads are fingerprint-resistant, eliminating identity theft. They remain responsive and do not start wearing down with time. The anti-cryptic safety mechanism will protect you from onlookers. 

CONS

The handle is not reversible. 

OUR VERDICT

The Prodigy SmartLock Cylindrical Lock incorporates reliable and robust mechanical and electronic engineered solutions that won’t let you down. You'll be unlocking the device fast, all while making sure that intruders will have the hardest time trying to hack the lock's security mechanisms.

detailed parameters
Access Method

Fingerprint, Key card, RFID stickers, Mechanical key

Extras

Weather and fire resistance, multiple user easy user code programming, anti-pry user code protection, low battery alerts

Type/Mounting

Deadbolt 

Power Source

4 x AA batteries 

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy 

PROS

The available finishes include polished brass, oil-rubbed bronze, and satin nickel. The device adopts beeps and voice prompts to assist interactions. It will let you adjust the volume levels and even silence the keypad. You can store 50 key codes without using the August module.

CONS

The battery cover's made from flimsy plastic. 

OUR VERDICT

The Yale Security Assure Lock SL is the company's slimmest lock yet, compatible with most popular smart home systems and voice commands solutions, including Siri Alexa, and Google Assistant. You can integrate the device into Airbnb and Home Away modules too, making the product excellent for people renting rooms, apartments, and homes.

detailed parameters
Access Method

Smartphone, PIN codes

Extras

Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Lock, unlock, and check lock status in the August app (works with iOS and Android devices). Integrates with Airbnb and Home Away

Type/Mounting

Deadbolt 

Power Source

4 x AA batteries (9V battery can be used as a backup)

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The single universal adapter plate will let you install the lock within 10-20 minutes. The Auto-Unlock feature will be going into Away mode when you leave the premises and get ~two hundred yards away and automatically unlocking the door and switching back to the Home mode when you approach the lock's Bluetooth range.

CONS

There's no Android widget. 

OUR VERDICT

The August Home ASL-03 comes without any old-school mechanisms. You'll be able to do everything from the phone, from assigning guest keys to monitoring the activity log, knowing who comes and goes at precisely what time. You can also use voice commands, ask Siri if the door is locked and have the virtual assistant lock/unlock the door for you.

detailed parameters
Access Method

Smartphone 

Extras

August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge included. Works with Alexa. Bluetooth, Apple HomeKit, Z-Wave Plus Compatible. Lock, unlock, and check lock status in the August app (works with iOS and Android devices)

Type/Mounting

Deadbolt 

Power Source

4 x AA batteries 

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

You won't have to install a WiFi bridge since the lock already comes with an integrated WiFi module. The Schlange app lets you add custom notifications that are sent to you when someone interacts with the lock. You can not only create 100 access codes but also assign separate schedule limits to them. 

CONS

The Schlage software is not especially accessible. 

OUR VERDICT

The Schlage Encode looks more contemporary and dignified than most smart locks. Yet, the matte keypad is as responsive as its modern counterparts and as resistant against prying via fingerprint scanning. The Snap‘n'Stay tech frees both hands and lets you install the lock with very little time and effort investment.

detailed parameters
Access Method

Smartphone, PIN codes, Mechanical key 

Extras

Built-in alarm technology, Snap‘n'Stay technology. Works with Alexa. Unlock and check lock status in Schlage Home app or the Key by Amazon app

Type/Mounting

Deadbolt 

Power Source

4 x AA batteries 

Warranty

3 years 

PROS

The high-strength zinc alloy construction that's been tested against low temperatures, high temperatures, and vibrations, is impact-resistant and practically immune from tampering. It is also resistant to the elements. The  anti-peep virtual password feature will prevent strangers from stealing the password via looking at you entering the digits. 

CONS

The instructions for setting up passcodes are not easy. 

OUR VERDICT

The SwiftFinder Fingerprint Door Lock will be able to aid not only residential spaces but also commercial and even industrial premises. You can add 300 fingerprints, access cards, and passcodes to the system, granting hundreds of people access without compromising the security.

detailed parameters
Access Method

Fingerprint, Access card, Passcode, Mechanical key

Extras

Waterproof, moisture-proof, and mildew-proof, voice navigation, reversible handle

Type/Mounting

Deadbolt 

Power Source

4 x AAA batteries 

Warranty

1 year 

Prodigy SmartLock Cylindrical Lock

Low-Profile Lock

The Prodigy SmartLock Cylindrical Lock is that stylish, low-profile lock that will be adding aesthetics points and keep the premises more than secure. You can choose between flat black, satin nickel, and satin chrome finishes, all modern-looking, sleek, and streamlined. The 12-key illuminated touchpad will enable comfortable input even at night. Aside from the illuminated part, these keypads are also fingerprint-resistant, so intruders won't be able to access the lock via identity theft. The keypads do not wear down, meaning that they will not start showing signs telling burglars which keys you've been pressing more all these years. Plus, you won't have to press them too hard since the keys are sensitive and responsive,

Of course, settings electronics aside, smart locks are still locks, so they ought to be resistant to physical tampering too. That's not where the product drops the ball though, incorporating high-strength hardware that has been tested up to 1,000,000 cycles, which is six times more than what standard residential locks endure. In other words, the hardware here is practically indestructible, featuring high-end weather and fire resistance solutions to make the lock impenetrable via any physical means.

Despite the sophisticated build, this lock does not require expert setup. You can easily install this device onto most doors with backsets measuring 2-3/8 inches. The DIY step-by-step manual that comes with the package features an install template and the only screwdriver you need to get the lock up and running in ~15 minutes.

Review of Prodigy SmartLock Cylindrical Lock Commercial Grade 4000 with Keyless Entry RFID

Ample Options

You can program <400 user codes into the system. You don't have to go with any of them though. In addition to these codes and the previously mentioned fingerprints, you can add and use key cards and RFID stickers to the system. Last but not least, you'll have access to the mechanical key override option, giving you back-up access without inputting the code(s). While all these features are contributing, so is the anti-cryptic safety mechanism that will be ensuring that onlookers are unable to identify the security combination that you're using.

The handle is not reversible, somewhat upsetting considering that the product delivers everywhere else but you can choose between left- and right-handed options, so that's something.

Bottom line, the Prodigy SmartLock Cylindrical Lock will make things easy for you and basically impossible for intruders.

Prodigy SmartLock Cylindrical Lock Commercial Grade 4000 with Keyless Entry RFID in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Yale Security Assure Lock SL

Adding Senses

The Yale Security Assure Lock SL looks so slim that it is hard to imagine this lock being able to provide enough security yet that's precisely what this device will be doing. Before that though, you'll have to install the lock, which is not the challenging part. From where we're standing, most people, even those with no prior experience, should be able to install this device onto most wooden doors within 20-30 minutes. The lock's rear side holds the large battery case that's somewhat flimsy though, so we would recommend treating with caution here. The locking mechanism is also there, featuring this rounded design that's fairly attractive but takes up more space on the door's back than you'd expect.

What's neat is the feature the company calls DoorSense that uses this small magnet attached to the frame to detect when the bolt's slid into place, locking the door. In other words, the device is able to detect when someone's triggered the lock but decided to leave the door ajar. Sure, the feature will not be automatically closing the door for you but it will be providing useful reassurance, letting you know that the lock's worked when you trigger the mechanism remotely.

Review of Yale Security Assure Lock SL Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Deadbolt

Chatty Little Device

Again, the lock looks good, rocking this minimalist front panel with a backlit touchpad. You can choose between satin nickel, polished brass, and oil-rubbed bronze finishes, all looking smart and clean to make an excellent addition to painted or stained wood doors. The keypads light up only when you touch them, so you won't be replacing the batteries especially often.

The device's pretty chatty, using voice prompts and beeps to tell you what's going on. The keypad will be chirping when lighting up and, when you take too long to enter the keycode, the lock will announce that the allotted time has expired.

The smart lock is able to store <50 key codes without any assistance but, when you introduce the August module into the mix, you can add 200 more, enough to satisfy even most business needs. Linking to the August system, the lock will be able to take full advantage of most smart home systems. It is able to work with all Google Home compatible devices, Apple HomeKit products, Alexa compatible devices. Even without these systems though, the Yale Secure app alone will let you lock and unlock the door via Bluetooth, manage the settings, and create or delete PIN codes.

In short, the Yale Security Assure Lock SL will let you manage the lock however you see fit.

Yale Security Assure Lock SL Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Deadbolt in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

August Home Smart Lock Pro

Ditching the Keypad

The August Home ASL-03 ditches the standard keypad approach and incorporates something new, something that we can appreciate even despite its flaws. Since the keypad has been removed, you won't be able to use PIN code(s) to access the space. In other words, this product is not fit to accommodate commercial needs and was designed for home use alone.

When you take that into consideration, the flaws that we've mentioned above become negligible and you start appreciating the product's strengths before them. It doesn't hurt that the strengths are numerous, including the compact and elegant rounded profile that was only made possible thanks to ditching the keypad.

Everything you need to install this lock comes with the package, even including the masking tape you'll be using to keep the existing deadbolt's front half from falling down when you'll be removing the back half. The smart lock is only compatible with those deadbolts that are separate from the doorknob, also known as single-cylinder deadbolts, meaning that mortise, rim cylinder, and interconnected locks aren't supported, which is fairly standard as far as smart home security solutions are concerned. The single universal adapter plate will be easy to attach to the 'bolt, so you should be done within ~15 minutes tops.

Review of August Home Smart Lock Pro Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, 3rd gen technology

Complete Management

The device, using the clean yet comprehensive August app, puts the smart in the smart lock. There's not much this app won't let you do. You can change the lock's name within the system. You'll be able to disable locking and unlocking sound accompaniment. The app will allow you to set smart alerts that will notify you when certain individual(s) lock, unlock, and even leave the door ajar. Want the device to automatically lock the door when you close it or input the precise time period before that? The app can do that too.

The Auto-Unlock feature is especially awesome: when you leave the house and get ~200 yards away, the lock goes into Away mode, awaiting your return. Once you're back within the lock's Bluetooth range, the device automatically unlocks the door for you and switches back to the Home mode until you leave again. As far as we're concerned, the only issue with these controls is that there's no Android widget, so you'll always have to start and run the app to manage them.

In closing, the August Home ASL-03 is even more modern than most smart locks, ditching the traditional mechanisms in favor of smart, cutting-edge solutions.

August Home Smart Lock Pro Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, 3rd gen technology in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Schlage Encode Smart

Century Trim

The Schlage Encode sports this less modern footprint/outline that we've come to expect from smart locks and we can absolutely get behind this change. We've nothing against these sleek, polished devices that usually come with smart locks but the product's century trim and matte black finish will flow much better with most entrances than these modern-looking devices. You can also choose the Camelot trim and satin nickel and aged bronze finishes but we like the one we've described above the best.

What we also like is the Snap‘n'Stay technology that snaps the deadbolt onto the door, so you'll be able to install the lock within ~5 minutes armed with nothing but one screwdriver. Plus, since the mechanism will snap 'bolt into place, you'll have both hands free, meaning you won't have to use one to support the lock as you're screwing the bolts.

Though the lock does not necessarily look the part, it is as smart as its competition, at the very least. The integrated WiFi module means you won't have to install the standard WiFi bridge that you normally use to connect these residential door locking systems to the Internet.

Review of Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt with Century Trim in Matte Black

Comprehensive Backlog Too

Before addressing the Schlange app, the integrated touchscreen keypad will be able to do the trick too, enabling easy access via custom PIN codes that you can add to the system and one-tap locking when you’re going out. You can even use the metal keyhole and the supplied mechanical key to keep things old-school when necessary.

Some find the Schlange app not that accessible but that's subjective and not necessarily understandable from where we're standing since there are not that many features there and they're not that hard to manage. This large central button that symbolizes the lock lets you quickly find and toggle the lock from the app. You can easily activate and deactivate notifications sent to you each time the deadbolt is locked and unlocked. Even when you turn these notifications off though, the program keeps a comprehensive backlog that accounts and saves every interaction with the lock. Using the app, you'll be able to create and assign 100 access codes, enough to support small offices. The software lets you schedule these codes too, so you'll be able to limit access to certain time frames when necessary.

Even without going into more details, the Schlage Encode is already an excellent smart lock, with its more contemporary aesthetic and streamlined management/operation.

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt with Century Trim in Matte Black in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

SwiftFinder Fingerprint Door Lock

High-Strength Zinc

The SwiftFinder Fingerprint Door Lock is relatively basic compared to the locks we've reviewed above but there are advantages to its barebones build. Sure, the device is not compatible with any app, so you won't be able to open and close the door via your smartphone. Even so, that means that the lock is also safe and protected against digital hacks. When you set aside digital intrusion, there's always the good ol' brute-force approach but the lock will have none of it.

Made from high-strength zinc alloy, this device is more impact-resistant than most smart locks, basically immune to tampering and forcible entry. Its modules have passed the high-/low-temperature test, vibration test, and aging test, making sure that the device will be able to adapt to any harsh environment. Alongside these mechanisms, the people behind this product have made its components waterproof, moisture-proof, and mildew-proof, so you do not have to worry about the elements corroding the circuitry.

Considering the affordable price, we were delighted to find that the handle is reversible, making the lock more versatile and adaptable to different frames and needs. We were not delighted with the instructions though. Sure, the lock is easy to set up. That's not the point. The point is that the passcodes aren't that easy to configure, especially when you're talking about people who aren't necessarily tech-savvy.

Review of SwiftFinder Fingerprint Door Lock Smart Lock Electronic Entry Lock

300 Fingerprints, Passcodes, and Access Cards

You won't be able to unlock this device via third-party gadgets but that does not mean the product is not flexible. On the contrary, you can interact with the lock via fingerprint(s), access card(s), passcode(s), and even physical key(s). The system will let you add as many as 300 fingerprints, 300 passcodes, and 300 access cards, so the lock will be able to accommodate commercial use too. Two keys come with the box, so you can have a replacement stored and hidden somewhere or you can give the key to your significant other/roommate.

Again, despite the product's budget price tag, there are some sophisticated solutions here, including the anti-peep virtual password feature. Type as many random digits as you want and the lock will still grant you access as long as you've input the correct code before these random digits. The voice nagivation will guide you through the device's modest feature list, so you sohuld be able to figure them out with ease. Add the fact that the lock does not burn through batteries especially quiclky and you can recommend this product to most customers who are not into relying on their phone for everything, including personal safety and security.

SwiftFinder Fingerprint Door Lock Smart Lock Electronic Entry Lock in the use

 

Infographics

Comparison of Smart Locks

What Is a Smart Lock?

Today everybody has at least one key in a pocket. It fits the lock of the entrance door to a house or an apartment, a garage or a vault. Maybe it opens a padlock attached to the chain tying your bike to a tree. Some individuals carry huge bunches of keys, which cause real discomfort. There is a solution to this problem proposed by manufacturers of smart locks that should brush such kind of troubles aside.

Smart locks relieve you of the need to have a bunch of keys to the doors. These locks can be installed instead of regular deadbolt locks and differ from them providing you with a possibility to lock and unlock them with a smartphone or another gadget. Some smart locks are compatible with Smart Home systems. All in all, the smart locks feature the same functions as the common locks but they are more convenient to use and ensure a higher level of security, providing wireless automation.

If you would like to change the doorbell along with replacing your lock with a smart one, we recommend taking a look at our door chimes and bells review that contains detailed information on these devices.

Best Smart Locks

What Features to Compare

Access Method

When selecting a smart lock, one of the most important characteristics to consider is what access method's provided. It goes without saying that a smart lock should also be easy to use. Generally speaking, most modern smart locks allow for controlling their functions via a special app from your smartphone. This is convenient, as you don't run the risk of forgetting the remote someplace or having batteries that die on you when you least expect it. Just download the app and you're ready to go. That said, the usual way of opening the lock is also, usually, provided. For that, you only need to deactivate the automatic unlocking option. Some smart locks may come featured with digital keypads, allowing you to input the code manually. Actually, out of all, these are considered the most reliable and convenient in use.

Additional Functions and Conveniences

Just like any modern gizmo, smart locks can be fitted with additional conveniences and functions. If the lock has the access control function (the most common one), for example, you can expect it to send you notifications containing information regarding every interaction with the lock. In other words, with this function, you will get a detailed backlog of all the events that happen during the day. In case your lock is compatible with Smart Home systems - Nest or Apple HomeKit - in addition to sending you status reports, it will allow you to benefit from many other additional features. Aside from this, select a smart lock that has a water-resistance body to serve you for a longer time without needing a repair.

Installation

You should also consider how easy it is to install the lock is and how good the exterior of the lock is, i.e. how good it will blend with everything else. Just like regular locks, these can be designed as padlocks and as deadbolt locks. Although it might not seem obvious at a glance, as long as the dimensions of a smart lock are about the same as those of the old one, installing a deadbolt lock is very easy and can be done by anyone using a single screwdriver. All that is required is to remove the old lock.

Are Smart Locks Worth The Investment?

Smart locks are becoming more and more prevalent these days, with more people deciding to invest into these devices. That being said, most still feel skeptical towards these expensive locks, thinking that they're easy to hack and even easy to break. You know what though? That might have been the case initially but that's not something that you can say about even the most middling smart locks anymore. There are many advantages to these locks that justify the sometimes elevated price and we're here to provide and establish these advantages.

No More Fishing for Keys

This one's obvious but just because the advantage is obvious doesn't mean we're not going to point it out. As much as most people are creatures of habit, we all forget from time to time where we've put the keys, so we end up looking for them through the entire bag, wasting precious minutes when running late. There's nothing fun/convenient about it. With smart locks, you don't have to do that. You can input the passcode and unlock the device. You can use the access card. You can even press the finger against the scanner and that will be enough to access the door. Sometimes, you'll be able to open and close the doors via your smartphone and even via voice commands, which is so much more convenient than using ordinary keys.

First Impressions Last

More often than not, deadbolt locks look bland and uninspired, designed to provide security and, normally, sacrificing aesthetics to do so. Smart locks are anything but bland. Oftentimes, these locks look elegant and sophisticated, something straight from sci-fi flicks. Sometimes, these locks are designed to look more contemporary and elegant, adding modern trims and posh little patterns to make sure the lock all but screams character. Having said that, smart locks can be clean and concealed too, which is an approach that also has its benefits.

Friends Are Welcome

When you're away, friends usually cannot access your home, unless you've given them spare keys, which is something that most people don't even have to spare. With these intelligent locks though, things are plenty less complicated. You can give friends the passcode(s) or, better yet, assign them access via the app so that they're able to come in, feed the pet(s), water the plants, and so on. Some smart locks will even let you schedule entry, allowing certain people to lock and unlock the doors, say, only on Mondays and Fridays from 2 to 4 PM. These scheduled passcodes especially make sense when you've ordered delivery but are unable to be there to receive the package.

More Security

Foolproof mechanisms do not exist. That said, when you add and multiply them, you know that you've been able to make the premises more secure. See, with ordinary locks, there's only one mechanism but with smart locks, you're sometimes able to restrict access unless the passcode, fingerprint, and the access card have all been recognized, and there's very little chance that intruders will be able to hack/steal them all. Plus, these locks often keep extensive logs, so even when someone's been to breach the security, you'll know who that was.

Sources:

1. Megan Wollerton Smart lock buying guide, CNET. April 15, 2016.

2. Grant Clauser Smart Locks and Keyless Locks are Opening Doors to the Smart Home, Electronic House. July 28, 2015.

3. Smart Lock, Wikipedia. July 18, 2016.

4. Matt Klein Use Smart Lock in Android 5.0 and Never Unlock Your Phone at Home Again, How-to Geek. November 24, 2014.

5. Electronic & Smart Locks For Your Airbnb Property, Guesty.

6. John R. Delaney The Best Smart Locks of 2016, PCMag. May 19, 2016.

7. Stewart Wolpin 5 Best Smart Locks for Your Home, Techlicious. July 26, 2016.

8. Schuyler Towne The Current State of Smart Locks, Gizmodo. November 19, 2014.

9. Alexandra Chang Your Door Is About to Get Clever, Wired. June 19, 2013.

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